On National Agriculture Day, as Ohioans are under a Stay At Home executive order, the state’s farmers remain dedicated to working tirelessly to ensure an abundant supply of nutritious food for families near and far. Organizations representing the state’s farmers, including the Ohio Poultry Association, American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Beef Council, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Agribusiness Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, and Ohio Soybean Association have joined together to continue their united, ongoing and unrelenting commitment to help feed the nation today and every day.
“It is our obligation to assure that the public continues to have a steady supply of wholesome and nutritious food—and that responsibility does not stop, even in a public health crisis,” said Frank Burkett III, president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “We know that families have seen shortages in some foods and products at grocery stores, but Ohioans can be confident that our farm community will do what is needed to help keep a steady supply of food available.”
National Agriculture Day, recognized on March 24, is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of America’s agriculture community and how food brings everyone to the table.
Agriculture is the No. 1 contributor to Ohio’s economy. The state has more than 77,800 farms, and agriculture and food also provides one out of eight jobs in Ohio. Farm workers play a critical role in assuring a consistent food supply and are considered essential workers in Ohio, which means they have permission from the state and from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to go to work during the current Stay At Home order.
“We are firmly committed to caring for and supporting our teams, who are on the front line of this response,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association, which represents more than 600 egg, chicken and turkey farmers in the state. “Our farmer-members have put additional measures in place to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Disinfection and disease prevention are inherent in all food production, and our farms have expanded many of those protocols.”
Ohio is a leading producer of many nutrient-rich foods that help nourish Americans every day. It’s one of the largest egg farming states in the nation, producing 8.9 billion eggs each year, it ranks 7th nationally in pork production, 9th in turkey production, and is in the top 20 for beef and chicken production. As the top Swiss cheese-producing state in the country, Ohio cows produce 628 million gallons of milk a year. Soybeans and corn are also top crops in the state.
“Ohio farmers are proud to help feed the nation, and they will continue to do so during these uncertain and unprecedented times,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive vice president, Ohio Beef Council. “Farmers will provide the same level of excellent animal care that they always do and will keep using sustainable farming practices to ensure safe, healthy foods.”
Ohio farmers will continue to support their local foodbanks, too, through regular donations to ensure that families have access to a safe and steady food supply.
“We have been through tough situations before, and we know that, when we work together, we survive and thrive,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO, Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “Ohio farmers are unwavering in their promise to work together to help ensure a plentiful supply of nourishing food.”